Friday, September 23, 2022

All the Family Shoes

You once asked why I was the Man without Shoes, the answer is because my great-grandfather hoarded all the family shoes. Hurricanes have no mercy.

We drank beer mostly, the one time it was gin and tonics Denise made them for us in a thermos we shared, standing knee-deep in Lake Champlain, I was never that happy again, I don't regret anything that happened since, I forgive it all. Hemlock trees are never not in my prayers, chickadees forever in my mind. 

Burlington in mid-Fall, our shared heart so bright and livid even the moon is compelled to genuflect. Cape Cod wind chimes, the past is forever a melody recreated in the present.

How happy I make others sometimes, as if the stories about me being broken and bad were just wrong, totally deeply entirely wrong. Imagine not liking your father.

Will trains last? I am focused on one last winter, nothing else matters now.

My taxidermied heart, my skinflint soul. A bridge away from death one built in their early twenties, made mostly of poems by suicidal women.

Lifetimes cutting cigars on the devil's train are finally gone, may I never cease to praise the Name of Jesus. What happens behind the church does not stay behind the church.

Used to get drunk and wander for hours at night, sober thirty-five years, still wandering around in darkness, star-gazing, happier than the odds once suggested was possible. Spent a lot of time swimming through wrecks of ancient ships trying to find something that wasn't skeletal, eventually surfaced, returned to shore.

Kneeling at Emily Dickinson's grave, hopeless and helpless in mid-September, i.e., how long does it take Gabriel to blow that fucking horn? This train is bound for glory - yeah, sure, whatever.

Framed pictures of the wedding in our bedroom make clear we have not yet gone beyond the marriage but let's not give up just yet, I feel lucky and there's something about this place. Fell shy of love, got back up and tried again, this is what I want, this is my only function, om shanti shanti shanti, alleluia alleluia.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

I Don't Remember Agreeing

Monarch butterflies passing by the goldenrod, we are all going somewhere. What is the relationship between hunger and love?

He visits in the bright middle of the day to remind me the way will not be easy but also it's too late to back out. Something happens far away - two thousand years ago, say - and all the fear of it is here. 

Towering hemlocks may I finally learn what these hands and arms and eyes are for. Sailing over the landscape in Lukas Geer's hot air balloon, the old dream of never having to give up dreaming.

Screw any list of guitar solos that does not include the final one in Sultans of Swing. Something went wrong early in my life and it turned out there would never be a fix, who knew.

The new therapist asks why do I insist on finding ways to argue I should be punished and we both know the answer but only one of us has the courage to say it. Geese in the distance, everything ends.

No more highway blowjobs, I don't remember agreeing to that but okay. We hang a Happy Birthday sign together, we don't know ourselves anymore outside of characters and narratives we didn't write.

I mean how much more rapture does one really need? When licking you was like licking marble in clouds of falling ash. 

It made me happy watching the turntable, it taught me something important about forgetting. "More mushrooms" cries the Man without Shoes, whose feet are now clad in Steve Hamlin's higher-priced clown shoes.

Mothers and Others, may I never forget to be grateful. Needy magick. 

That little farm in Vermont we could've bought but didn't, all to end up in these prolific gardens a stone's throw from the river, thanks Jesus, thanks God. The guy whose favorite poet is Emily Dickinson, whose favorite novelist is James Clavell, who invited that guy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Love Itself Immolating

A little moonlight on the floor, apparently Jesus never gets tired of showng me Love Itself.

Remember the Country of Turtles, how one kiss became the cosmos, and the cosmos this: this this?

Sex is just power playing with itself until you see how it is actually communion, i.e., Love Itself entangling with Love Itself. 

Digging potatoes with Chrisoula, stars coming out, fingers cold on cold spades, finally the wedding reaches the marriage.

Deconstructing old loves so as to forgive familiar errors. 

Under the ferris wheel looking up, was there ever any doubt?

Saturday morning waking early for chores then brewing coffee while the kids argue is "parer" a word and then going upstairs into the sunlit bedroom to write, this.

Flirting with disaster, who's kidding who.

West-facing hills on which mile-long bands of white pine are dead. 

Sifting through hatred to reach the fear, offering the fear to her alchemizing love, om shanti shanti shanti. 

Leaving Albany forever because Jeremiah taught me that all along Love Itself was my companion

Falling asleep under a blue blanket, thinking of Mary crying at her son's execution. 

Everything we look upon because there is nothing to look upon but Christ. 

Be mind.

She smiles when I knock on her office door, something frozen in me softens, my heart weeps a lake onto her feet.

Friends who became teachers, teachers who became lovers, lovers who became symbols of Love Itself, immolating every relationship but one. 

Walking around the back yard at night, slowing down when a skunk lumbers by - hey brother - staying out until the quarter moon crests far hills full of deer and other dreamers. 

I tell him about the time my mother threw a knife at me and he refactors his internal model, may I never forget to be earnest.

How sometimes we stop working, smile at each other in shadows sinking into the garden and say, "hey, remember when the summer sky was full of swallows?"

You don't read these poems Chrisoula and yet they are all for you, and it doesn't matter you don't read them, I will write them for you until I die, I will write them for you when I am dead, I will write them for you until you say "rise brother into the Heaven we create together." 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The One who Refused the Wings

You never read my poems and yet you are the one who made this life safe enough to write them.

Unmade bed, are you thinking what I'm thinking.

Gathering goldenrod for the neighbor's goats, leaving some for mid-September bees.

What I won't do for certain women.

We sit quietly watching the moon between maple trees just beginning to turn.

He asks me to be in my body in a way I find terrifying but I try, for him I try, as we both know only another man can truly understand this particular fear.

Cartoon demons, watercolor angels.

It's all forever now!

Learning with K. it's okay to let certain lessons go, it's okay to be happy and free.

Once I decided to no longer be lonely, the brief moments of solitude became diamantine, a light piercing it from all directions at once.

The hay loft becomes a chapel in which sex is gently forgotten in favor of communion.

At an early age I swallowed a compass, how else do you think I managed the difficult landscapes I was forced to live in like a rat? 

Oh Fall River thank you for existing for without you I would not have understood how deep and slow the River of Beauty truly is.

Not Icarus after all but the one who refused the wings and then cried a long time on the beach watching his father fly away forever and his brother die, crashing into the sea. 

Who or what is behind this, I want to say thank you.

Suicides whose calls I did not return in time, forgive me.

Made feral by a mother who had seen more of hell than one would wish upon an enemy, and a father whose eyes were stolen by a decades-old hurricane. 

Chrisoula knits while I read Sarah Hrdy, now and then reading aloud this or that sentence, may I never forget to be grateful.

Coming to terms with Tara Singh again.

There is only one love, thirty years after the wedding we reach at last the marriage, and even then, even then. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Suddenly Swathed in Gray

We stood together near the stage watching Mike Campbell play guitar - scarecrow-like, excellent still - and several times I touched Jeremiah's shoulder and he turned to smile at me, a man with whom I do not need to assume any pretense, and in this way something about Albany changed forever.

Who or what is behind all this.

Crows before the sun rises, heading north.

It seemed there was a path that involved painting once, it seemed there was a dream of getting something just right, where "just right" meant creating an image that conveyed a feeling rather than any technical accuracy related to how things actually appear. 

People ask why the rose became so ubiquitous an image and symbol - practically bereft of meaning at all according to Eco - and the question strikes me as a failure for the answer is quite simply: look.

Early evening, between sips of the last cup of coffee ever, a heaviness settles on the valley, and the soul - which lately is attuned to the throat chakra - is suddenly swathed in gray.

Images and ideas I would rather not put into a sentence, or the same sentence anyway, and so do not (but did in a previous sentence - can you see which one).

Vision in the right eye slowly failing, a haze descending as if an angel were gently lowering its wings.

This is not the sentence I meant to write, this is the sentence I actually wrote.

Walking in Albany again, all these years later, remembering the past, and letting it go.

We were broken, that was why.

As if praise were not enough.

Getting curricular.

We pause beneath the hemlocks, we draw chairs and talk about the kids, we talk about moving, about cutting back the berries, we talk about what we are becoming together now we are not trying to become anything else.

The void giveth and the void taketh away.

Remembering William Kennedy's novels, how hard it was to get Dad to appreciate them, how I read them endlessly for years, delighted with the prose, the familiar characters, and always the untiring romance. 

We who are refused over and over - denied entry unto the temple, not allowed to touch his robes - pushed away and rejected - whose dreams are fed by wild angels, emissaries of a God who has not yet decided is He interested in our salvation.

Obedience, who knew.

Getting to know the narrator, going slowly so not to spook him, that path.

And will there be another snow storm, now I have been granted another winter in which to stand quietly in quiet forests amid all the snow falling in all the cosmos?

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Lost Children in Previous Centuries

Okay, I give up, why do we die? Burning straw dogs, the ruins still smoking after dawn. After rain, sunlight in the lilac, and after sunlight in the lilac, moonlight. Obligate sexuality, who knew. 

How do we recognize sentences? Here is the secret to happiness, you are related in nontrival ways to apples. Death and sex are intimate, let us not live elsewise. Chipped bricks falling off the chimney in high winds.

A deliberate choice to speak of "cosmos" rather than "universe," sensing in the decision something promiscuous, risky. The body is a site of negotiation between agents trying to remember how to cooperate. Chess, too, is a helpful metaphor - why. Spank me.

Hours pass or seem to. Once I was a lake, once I was a woman who could walk on water, once was I was a child who spent many years swimming through the wrecks of ancient ships. Chris Fields' point that "biology is all about recycling." I cannot bear another horizon. 

Licking semen off the fingers of the seraph who gave me a handjob in the pantry. Seams in the poem where understanding appears. We are together a response to the cries of lost children in previous centuries. A leaf falls, Chrisoula reaches me, I will see another winter.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Back When I Was Still Pretending

She visits in a dream - a desert, we are very poor, we have no right, we are meeting far from our homes - and says "longer sentences, please."

Driving into Albany with my son, the moon shrouded, my head full of memories I want to share with him, how I have loved three women, made a life and family with one, cannot always find myself in time, and want nothing anymore but this. 

Falling asleep with the taste of her in my mouth.

The heart is a useful metaphor but must be deployed intentionally hence my poor use of it as such, I am what is led by language not the other way around. 

In the distance the city was colorful, we were both relieved to see it, and I remembered driving through it with Denise in 1988, not wanting to let go of her hand, I was so happy, I was so happy and knew I would never be that happy again, and the knowing did not impair the happiness, and thirty-five years later it still does not. 

Remember making love on futons in hottest summer, going out after to drink gin and tonics on North Beach, stars falling one by one into the vast lake.

Sad Jesus walking in a meadow full of cattle who are only weeks away from being slaughtered.

This is my heart when it remembers you, this is my heart when it forgets.

Vakra-Tunndda Maha-Kaaya Suurya-Kotti Samaprabha / Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryessu Sarvadaa.

Near midnight, lost.

Chrisoula comes back from her pottery class happy and laughing, and something in me is lifted and lightened, and something else - hurt and angry since before this body was born - goes away to plot in secret against love.

Ways to see it does not matter, what happens or does not happen, ways to see that even suffering is not suffering, only saying so is suffering.

We share a joint near dawn - everyone else fallen asleep, embers only, instruments set aside - and our knees touch and stars settle in the lilac, one after the other after the other.

Pushing the canoe out and then - possessed by who knows what - not climbing in but swimming behind it to the center of the lake, cold in the cold water, apparently needing to be closer to what is dark than the surface will allow.

Loneliness, not solitude, has been my path, please God let me not pretend otherwise another day.

On the back roads I remember absence. 

Oh I would leave this body to all the hungry dogs, I pray their hunger does not last much longer. 

Poets I read who cut me, carved me into a specific site of loss and grief, sex and writing, joy forgotten and joy remembered, who opened in me an intensity and awareness that is all the treasure there is.

Light rain all afternoon, part of which I sleep through, waking to the phone chiming (a three-word text from Jeremiah), and a headache that was laid on me back when I had enemies, back when I was still pretending I wasn't full of hatred and anger. 

He says quietly there are no bargains, you must love and you must let yourself be loved, and you must live in the world this shared - this difficult but shared, thus this beautiful - loving brings forth.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Crucifixion Notes

Sheep cries echo across the fields.

Saturday wasted, again. 

Sun appearing here, moon appearing there.

Sentences shorten.

Stonehenge was progress.

Dangerous evaluation.

No longer recognizing the argument but still recognizing winning.

Inverted turtle shells.

It gets bad sometimes, who doesn't know this.

Carrying Dad.

Men whose stories falter, fall off.

Little Wing, broken wing, hallowing.

Glimmering web threads floating off rafters in the hay loft.

Who trembled mounting the gallows. 

Perpetually drawing aside curtains.

A sickness traced back to guitars.

Always Kali, always Perses, always this self-righteous fury ending in crucifixion.

Notes coming out of the void.

We are not observers.

Imagine new alphabets.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Missing Nothing and Nobody

Rain fell. What was precious became more so. A paragraph is not a feature of speech but can be spoken, this is not important anymore but I wanted to say it.

You develop an appetite for Barthes, which is an appetite for a text, for an author and a reader, and then you spend a lifetime gazing at the world, singling this or that element out for special attention, sometimes putting parts of it into words. Wrens in the hemlock, welcome to early fall. One sleeps longer than usual, wakes up tired. 

What happened. Something that could not be saved, I have been angry for fifty years, now you tell me it's time to grieve, why don't you tell me how it ends. The river so low we can find no fish in it.

Four a.m., drifting through prayers Christ shared with me years ago in my father's old bedroom. Failures, a sea of them, swimming in them, coming up through them to an unfamiliar light. Precious surface I will break you in the name of love.

Long gone dogs, my life in ruins. Rain fell and fell, decades became sunflowers, I stopped being able to breathe, and still there was only this: this this. The affair ends, you haven't changed, you betrayed the only one who can save you, this was apparently what you wanted, a way to fix what appears unfixable, may you never forget the ones who went with you to help you remember.

Little bells beneath apple trees, i.e. rain, all night missing nothing and nobody, the back porch a chapel, God a cosmic billows. Lost in the only forest, swimming in the only river, chanting with ghosts in the name of the unnamed father. Moonlit genuflections. 

I wasn't supposed to be here, was supposed to have gotten out years ago, what happened. The Author of Hope will see you now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Away from Ourselves

I've strayed but not too far vs. I'm back and won't leave again. Tomatoes falling from falling vines. The cosmos is lawful, what else do you need to know.

The question of what is sustainable is harder to answer than it seems. Stopping outside Washington D.C. for breakfast, we are not traveling the same way anymore, we are taking different roads, we are farther and farther away from what we eat. Prayer again, always.

How far away Dan went in the end, and how lonely I became and have remained ever since. Refried bread with maple syrup for breakfast. This is the 1970s, this is the 1950s, this is not something older than that.

No more what? The garden happens under laws of attention I am only just now learning to notice, let alone obey (or is it the old game of wanting a certain woman to want me). We who become the refused.

Trains full of drifters, low-down grifters. Perhaps I will be here folding and refolding the quilt on which we make love for all eternity, perhaps I already am. A sound the river does not make this year.

You want to be happy, I want to be happy, but we are not happy, what is wrong with us? Letting go of certain readers, the writing shifting accordingly. Goats crying out next door.

There are old ways that still work, I am their witness. Becoming one with the biography in order to end biography.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Only I am Allowed to Dream

Old texts.

Outside at night silence.

Suffering no longer. 

They asked me to go home, they reminded me Ma was there, alone with bad dreams only I am allowed to dream, and so I lived in that house for nineteen years. 

Queen Anne's Lace all up and down the hill.

What happens when you leave identity out of it, can you.

The voice that is negative and fearful is trying to argue it is reasonable.

Please don't take away the peace.

A church for beggars.

The Judge who declines to be seen, who will not make his argument in public

What blurs.

Enlarge the space of agreement, make it at least possible, find others to help.

Sinners watching the sun rise yet another day.

Resistant to sharing, going into it, finding something unpleasant traveling north outside Hatfield, but what, and why now.

It has to do with specificity. 

The lake full of ice, neither one of us wore clothes for days.

Rainbows indicating what about boundaries.

September sunflowers, maybe dying won't be so bad after all.

An aversion to using the world "only" and "reflection" in the same sentence. 

Brattleboro taught us how much we had left to fear, and how wrong it would get before it got better.

Monday, September 12, 2022

The Oldest Apple Tree

A dream of better questions.

Dreaming the other into existence.

Willingness becomes a burden, a duty, it becomes the opposite of what it is.

Disrupting hummingbirds at the jewelweed, Sunday mass put off another day.

Leaves on the lilac turning now, early September, something rust-colored in the suddenly cool air. 

Cirrus clouds where yesterday the moon passed.

Cardinals at odd moments as if the red bird is finally returning, no longer bound to the body of another. 

I am trying to justify optimism, who knew.

Train engines hidden away.

Going through old photographs, finding the ones that are hard to separate from what actually happened, and taking them. 

Spells are not irrelevant here.

Morning sun, neighborhood cats following me to the oldest apple tree, sidestepping fallen fruit. 

Where the horses were buried, where we began rehearsing for the war.

Or not, as always.

Replanted lilies alive the next day, may I never take a single breath for granted.

Star-gazing at three a.m., bats dipping back and forth, if you were here what would I miss.

Those who got away.

Missing the hint.

Sometimes you see the cave mouth shine, sometimes you find your way by feel.

Winning the argument and the argument goes on, one of us wants this, who. 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Seduction is an Agreement

Night belongs to us, the day is forbidden.

Searching for a tea kettle.

Something Christmas-y in me, something maternal.

Finding roads with you, finding ways.

Lovers are the site of remembering what mattered at the beginning.

You bookstore, you, you library.

Take me, that's how. 

Seduction is an agreement to be bound by lies in order to remember what is true.

Say again what we learn together.

Sunlight on the only birch tree with which I have a chance.

Faking it sometimes, sometimes improvising, always in it though.

Butterflies make me cry, tell me again what this means for our relationship. 

Telling K I'm lost in what resembles a Peanuts cartoon.

Near the bottom sex is merely power but past the bottom it's pure communion, which is about everything, including sex.

Refusing sleep - refusing forgetfulness - paying anyway.

Becoming carefuler.

Icarus rising from eternally smoking embers comforting Hansel and Gretel coming back from the witch, the teller pleading with her audience to get something right about who serves who and when.

Never really had a home, was never really homeless, nor did I travel. 

Nothing ends, there's nowhere to go, that's how.

Pumpkins ripening in tall grass by the garden, another summer gone, another ring of Heavens. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Those Hills in Greece

Questions I regret asking, answers I only recognize too late.

Moons in you, miles in you.

The solitude with you.

A loss that cannot be categorized every day. 

Men who hoard clues, who don't know it's only a game. 

The new therapist observes that Dad was better at politics than I am, which I did not know.

Tracing her skin, collarbone to shoulder, then pulling her close, her body thin and hard, always reminding me of olive trees in the hills above the Greek village where she was born. 

What do your feet know that the rest of you does not?

Two dead foxes in five days, I have forgotten how to end things.

Sharing a joint on the back porch, knees touching, starlight in the nearby lilac.

Long gone dogs coming less and less to mind. 

What is observed at a distance, what is identified because of how it draws nearer.

Cosmic gift-givers. 

The mushrooms are still here I say to which Jason replies maybe, maybe not. 

Writing in this constrained, in this mythologized way.

We live differently, what does this mean?

Was I sent away or did I get lost or did somebody find me and teach me a secret I am only just now remembering to share?

Icarus wakes up drunk, no idea where the church is.

Going down on her in a Boston hotel, how she slammed the mattress with her open hand coming.

This map you keep insisting belongs to me, for real, I don't think it belongs to me.

Friday, September 9, 2022

What Makes it about Love

Still that feeling while fucking there is only this.

Pickup parked outside Hruberic Orchards in late summer, Tom Petty on the radio, we are laying in the bed on a blanket holding hands gazing at stars and I am learning that if I don't write it down I will lose what makes it about love.

After the gospels, after the God spells.

She wakes early to find me, knowing my mind, we are becoming together a prism, we are becoming together a light.

Another day born in me with you.

We agree the vagina is more nuanced than the penis, more responsive to language, but we disagree which is more beautiful to look at.

Museums are not helping maybe.

Outside alone an hour or so before dawn trying to make sense of dying.

Two dreams running Dad is content, unworried, silent in a good way, or am I just finally letting go of the need to win the argument.  

He described giving up on an old friend and it made me sad, I heard in his story the voice of those who have spoken of me that way over the years. 

We age out of monogamy, it's okay, sex is just another way of communing, shall we.

But who taught me to argue instead of carry weapons, who taught me to get sober, who helped me find a good woman to teach me how to let go of everything, even this.

Route Nine at seven a.m., driving to work in relative silence, surprised at how happy I am, at such a late and unfamiliar - at such a difficult - juncture.

Remember parking at the fair, not going in for a long time but finishing the conversation we were having about John's Gospel, I died that day, became a ghost that day, I was saved that day and you became my savior, om shanti shanti shanti, alleluia, amen. 

We choose favorites, it happens, but there's another way.

There was nothing sweet about sixteen.

She asks about my obsession with trisyllabics, tries to locate it in childhood names, favorite stories et cetera, and I go along with the inquiry, equally curious but less committed, i.e., being happy doesn't always need an explanation.

Roads we know, roads we do not.

Falling asleep a little after nine, she says it's okay, so okay, it's okay. 

I have a father now, who knew.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Stories not Everybody Wants to Hear

So it's a guessing game then, good to know. Well-polished turtle shells.

Serpentine. Am I studying A Course in Miracles or am I remembering that something comforted me once?

Never leaving the bedroom, that old trick. Unhomed.

In my mid-thirties, a brief spell of painting poems, one or two of which can be found in the hayloft still. What is oblivious to context.

So grateful to be allowed to kneel for her still. An abundance of crows, the days getting shorter, the night telling stories not everybody wants to hear.

Do we not grow up? Fair season ends, coffin ships of winter bear down on our little harbor.

Be less monosyllabic! Therapy interrupted.

Wrapped in a quilt, working on poems. Jasper leaves to visit family in Indiana, always this sense that he will not return and then what.

You want to be told it's okay to leave, so okay, it's okay to leave. Born in a snow storm, what did you expect.

You don't talk much about money she says of the poems to which I respond but I do talk a lot about treasure don't I. We are gliding together above Ascutney, we are rising higher and higher, we are flowers in a clearing watching ourselves rise higher and higher.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Off in the Hayloft

Cast iron left out all night how much colder will it get before the end. We travel together to Cape Cod, we never run out of things to say, we don't say everything anymore. Be my baby tonight.

Sipping coffee instead of meditating, listening to the occasional eighteen-wheeler grind down Route Nine thataway. Made like this for no reason in particular, what happens happens, it's okay to be happy, it's okay to tell a story in which we are happy. Your body is a church unto microbial congregations.

Cheap Trick in the mid-eighties, turns we don't take. Fionnghuala tells a friend that Tarot is a kind of evolving picture book for one's life, Chrisoula jokes "somebody's work is done here." Who else is sick of zucchini.

Light sifting through glass bottles, crystals and prisms, one does love a crowded pretty space. Kisses are context! She jacks me off in the hayloft, we can't stop laughing after, how happy we are together, remembering the cause for optimism. 

It won't kill you to be a bit more facile with metaphors. Back roads full of turkeys and deer. Not even my father could say what had happened to the past, it was that kind of mystery.

Making her a fire, that old art. Looking but not touching. While in another sense, we can only be said to exist in language itself.

Waiting not knowing the prayer has already been answered. Bats fill the dusky sky, draw the flannel closer.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Bitter but True

This feeling of being late always, somehow behind - what did I learn or not learn about time that led to this. Old joys scale the nether walls. Always ask: who or what do you recognize most?

Waking early wishing I hadn't, making coffee, sitting on a bench in the hayloft to write. We find our way mostly by narrative because there is no other way. A balance between looking down at quartz and looking up at stars.

Nothing happens ever is one way to look at it but why would you. Dylan songs from the late nineties. A juncture at which one is falling anyway, might as well call it love. 

Blue light travels through my heart and this too is the world. Something bitter but true that we do not want to look at. So I like word games and third-person erotica, so I will not betray optimism, so what.

Coming to terms with a childhood that was steeped in forests and rivers, and an adulthood that recognizes there is only one forest, and only one river. Horse cries after midnight, all of us up at once. What works?

I learned how to talk from my father, a non-trivial gift, but how to love words for words' sake from my mother, which was not a gift but something I stole. Hours with Emily Dickinson again, hours with Tom McGrath. Lilting oars on Upper Highland Lake, was dawn ever better, is there any other wealth.

The game of what are you thinking is not as fun as it used to be. Leftover pancake batter, may I never forget to be hungry, I mean grateful, may I never forget what I wasted.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Stones in the River

Oh not another word about snakes please, I don't want to disturb their rest. 

Looking for the beginning is the only way to see there is no beginning, only a void with which we can more or less be in relationship.

This hurt, it is too big to be anyone's alone, will you help.

At the Cummington Fair, sitting on a stone wall near the face-painting station, waiting for Chrisoula to leave the horse pull, I pray quietly to be forgiven all my sins, including in particular the sin of taking sin seriously.

In fact we actually have had sex in the barn, handful of times at least, it's overrated but still. 

Suddenly called to a new form of order.

Brother Singh reminding me that even ACIM must go, even the one who studies it so diligently must go.


Lords of the edge, too willing to be mistaken, too proud to be corrected.

Counting stones in the river, sorry for the trout who suffered, the bears whose hunger was not met in cool waters.

There are laws, not standards.

Where do you worship he asks, he means well, I cannot say what I want to say without alienating him, I say quietly "I try to carry the Lord with me everywhere at all times" and he says he will consider it, he can promise nothing more and for once, for now, it is enough. 

Morning kisses, must all anarchists be evangelical?.

Sloppy blowjobs apparently a thing of the past, may I respect our shared expression  - which disregards form - of longing.

Sitting a long time by the fire undoing what remains unhealed in us.

Remember friends?

Rays of sunlight at dawn appear as bridges you could follow all the way to Heaven if you were not so densely made.

Kissing her nipples, her fingers trailing up and down the back of my neck, nobody in any hurry anymore, this is what I wanted.

One wonders, one does.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

It has to do with Desire

In the mind of holly and snowfall, that's all. Minor chords, nobody listening.

One gathers their self at the window, it has do with distance and penetrable surfaces, it has to do with desire. Stray cats on Main Street.

Pulling over in Windsor, heart racing bright tears, step by step through forgiveness, getting it right enough to drive again. You can call it anything, why not call it a prayer?

In the dream Dad and I are on the porch of the house in Hanover where I learned Grandpa died, and Dad is quiet and calm, he is dead but he is not dead, he asks if it is okay to leave, I say yes and wake up and all day he is everywhere in me, this man through whom my life flows like a eucharist. She says at the party the only gospel worth reading is Mark and Chrisoula leans in on me to murmur "let it go, Sean, let it go." 

By itself the phrase "the numbers don't add up" is false. ACIM's insistence that Heaven is a decision means what regarding time and space?

Who has time anymore for grudges, me, that's who. I remember sitting with my mother in a parking lot near Cape Cod, two years ago or three, watching seagulls pick at chicken bones, she was talking about what Dad thought about family and I was trying hard not to show how scared I was.

There is something slippery in the culture, we are all falling away. Jesus being mostly mythological.

Grinding through the sentences, wondering how it came to this. Butterfly wings opening, the whole prayer of us enveloping the world, undoing everything, including us.

Watching Jack, the blind horse, walk slowly - elegantly - up from the lower pasture to the fence line to be fed, how can anybody find fault with God ever. Trout shadows, I've always been lucky.

Rain on my tongue. God is what you forget until you stop insisting on remembering.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

An Angel just Waking Up

You are asking yourself what changed and the answer is nothing changed, you are just seeing now what does not change. Bees in the goldenrod, the goldenrod so tall it blocks the front porch. A morning glory or a bluet, possibly a butterfly, why do you ask?

Meditations on suffering in a Christian context articulated by Karl Rahner, many sentences of which were underlined by my father, a dutiful student of the subject. Noisy fans. The jewelweed at dusk, my heart opening so wide it no longer resembles a heart, more an angel just waking up.

Sunlight decanting into a muddy pond. We left the fair early, quietly speaking about what has changed over the years, including especially our perception. Cognac glasses filled with polished marbles set on the window in sunlight.

Crickets in the barn at dawn, I carry hay to the horses, apparently immortal. Blue light of faerie in the pasture, a little before midnight. We counted to three, flung our wedding rings in the sea, the whole afternoon filled with light.

A hill is a pile of dirt and rocks on which trees grow. Trimming the fallen limb of the northernmost apple tree again, trying to get it just right, even though there's no such thing. Men being boys, same old problem. 

Misunderstandings being slowly worn smooth, like rocks in the river. Low-lying sage, the scent of it so strong we stop walking, stand quietly just breathing in the world. Suddenly all these crows, is it possible I am ready at last to die?

Opening old trunks to find the family bible full of dried roses. Another dead fox on the road out of town, sooner or later your luck just quits. 

Friday, September 2, 2022

Someone at the Fair

Who made the light this way? Green scaling the south side of the barn, butterflies everywhere. It's a lie but the cosmos allows lies, stop pretending otherwise. Put it there, brother.

Buckets stacked just so for spring container planting. Goldenrod leans across the front path, the house looks abandoned the neighbors say, tell it to the bees and hummingbirds I mutter. Buddhist sensibility. He writes to ask about visiting, the note lingers, there is no bliss anywhere suddenly. 

All kisses are hungry is one way to think about it. We'll get there, okay, but when exactly? Imagine God again. Broth simmering all day Sunday.

Missing someone at at the fair, nobody else knows my loneliness. How happy we are now we are hippies. Home is where the heart is broken and cannot learn how to fix itself. Guitaring again.

Sitting outside at night, unable to hear anything but the ghosts insisting only death is real. Who lives in the middle of the mirror? Something settles when something else is allowed to be elegant. This map you keep insisting belongs to me, I do not think it belongs to me. 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Soap Bubbles of Unknowing

Her shoulders, stronger than anything I know. Men who built crosses, men who needed crosses built, men who died on crosses, men who put other men to death on crosses. Pizza with basil, tomatoes and feta.

A promise that was not kept of which I can say happily "thank Christ it was not kept." Marigolds, how is more happiness even possible. It will storm soon, shall we check on the horses. 

Karla asks Chrisoula, "why do you keep him around" and Chrisoula says, "he makes me laugh, he always has." Soap bubbles of unknowing. A disco that never closes, a dance that never ends. 

Started writing love letters when I was six years old and now look. Stealing from your father's church, what else is sufficient unto love. Loading rail road ties into the truck for raised bed gardens.

Jasper says the clouds remind him of cloud-gazing once with an old girlfriend, I say more like the surface of a slow-moving river, maybe a long break-up, and we both become quiet, reflecting on our sins. "Can we sell the damn stove," she says to which I respond "sure, just as soon as it's no longer referred to in a Hayden Carruth poem."

What we call the beginning. Driving home from the Heath Fair, happy in ways I did not know was possible and yet all along was given, was right in front of me, like moonlight or a woman. Imagine being welcome.

Sometimes at night I will walk a long way in the darkness alone, find a place to sit in the forest, and listen to all the prayers the lost and forsaken pray, answering each and every one the same. Stacking hay, is there any other reason to live?